The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux


As part of Finland’s international framework for artistic, academic, and cultural exchange and export, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux builds bridges between cultural practitioners and institutions in Finland and the Benelux region. We foster new creative collaboration and topical international initiatives.

The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux was founded in 1993. Based in Antwerp for 13 years, it was relocated to the Sablon district of Brussels in 2006. The Institute is maintained by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux Trust. The Trust’s domicile is in Helsinki, Finland. The Institute is supported by The Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

We are a member of The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes (SKTI), a Helsinki-based association, with 17 Finnish cultural and academic institutes around the world. The institute collaborates with other Finnish organisations in the Team Finland network and with other European cultural institutes in the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network. The Institute held the presidency of the EUNIC Brussels cluster for 2021–2022.



STRATEGY 2024–2026


We create sustainable connections and work opportunities for culture and art professionals between Finland and the Benelux region, and promote the visibility of Finnish culture in the Benelux countries.


The Benelux is a region of short distances, whose populations are diverse, open and strongly appreciative of culture. The Institute’s location in Brussels is unique: we are at the heart of the European Union, in the midst of shared decision-making, where the Institute has the opportunity to influence European audiences. Through the digital dimension of the programme, our accessibility is even broader.


The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is a visionary expert organisation and a trusted international partner. It is the most significant and central promoter of Finnish culture and creative industries in the Benelux countries. The Institute’s programming influences current societal discourse through art and culture.



We value our partners and actively participate in the networks within our operational area as a reliable player. We establish new and long-lasting connections that benefit stakeholders to the fullest extent.


In our work and daily life, we promote diversity, equity and inclusion. We actively work to create fairer practices in the field of arts and culture.


Culture is a powerful tool in the reevaluation of values, practices, and societal models needed for ecological transformation. We establish ecologically and socially sustainable working methods and practices to promote international mobility and cultural exchange.


We focus on four goals, which we implement through our yearly action plans, and monitor their realisation in our annual reports. The Foundation’s board assesses the achievement of strategic goals and updates the strategy as needed.


Goal 1: Strengthen operational reliability and funding

We strengthen funding by seeking new sources of financing and increasing existing ones, so that the self-financing portion of the total funding is 25 percent. We actively promote and encourage the transition to multi-year state grants.

We ensure that our partnerships are maintained and strengthened even across personnel changes within the institute.

We continue to streamline our administrative processes using digital tools.


Goal 2: Increase programme impact

The programme’s impact will increase by 30 percent by 2026. The guiding principle is the programme strategy, and the CRM (customer relationship management) tool shared by the institute network is used as a monitoring tool, with metrics including the expenditure on programme activities, audience and participant numbers, as well as communication insights.


Goal 3: Increase European impact of operations

We actively seek partnerships and collaboration projects with cultural networks working in the Benelux countries, as well as with the upcoming European Capitals of Culture candidates for Belgium (2030) and the Netherlands (2032), and other similar entities. Through these new partnerships, we aim to reach new audiences, networks, and opportunities for cultural professionals.

We actively participate in institute network projects as resources allow.


Goal 4: We lead in sustainable practices in our networks

We promote environmentally sustainable practices in the field of arts and culture, particularly in the context of international co-productions and mobility. We continue to measure the carbon footprint of international productions and also focus on designing digital productions to be more environmentally friendly.



Executive Board

Suvi Innilä, Chairperson, Managing director

Paula Raitis, Vice Chairperson, Director of Human Resources

Lieven Ameel, Member, Adjunct Professor

Leena Malkki, Member, Senior Lecturer

Martti Kivistö, Member, Master of Laws

Deputy members

Antti Wihanto, Honorary Consul for Belgium

Iiris Kivimäki, Expert, Corporate Fundraising

Marja Rislakki, Ambassador

Kalle Jämsen, Master of Philosophy

Tuomas Parkkari, Master of Political Science

In matters concerning the Trust please contact the Institute’s Head of Administration Eeva-Maria Viitanen at who is also the Secretary of the Trust.

Mail address of the Trust:
Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux Trust
Kalliolinnantie 4
00140 Helsinki